Some people resist shaking things up, but I think differently: it's my responsibility to question, and to fight for what's right. Education can and should change the world, but it won't if change is met with 'Why?'. Instead, I prefer to ask, "Why not?
Linda joined Think as Chief Executive Officer on 1 May 2013. Linda is also appointed as CEO Laureate Australia; President of Torrens University Australia; and CEO of Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School. Linda has more that 23 years of management experience in the education sector in Australia and the United Kingdom. Her background is diverse, incorporating leadership experience in the areas of private, public, government, social enterprise, commercial and education. Linda is recognised at state and national levels as an innovative strategic thinker with leadership skills to drive exceptional business performance and is passionate about education and training for all.
Linda was previously Deputy Vice Chancellor and Director TAFE at Swinburne University, Melbourne where she was responsible for maximising the dual sector advantage, driving the sustainability and social inclusion strategies across the University and managing the TAFE Division. Previously, Linda held the position of Director of Metropolitan South Institute of TAFE in Brisbane and was a senior Queensland Government executive with the Department of Education, Training and the Arts.
Her global business and educational experience includes Corporate CEO, Futures Stockbroker, Managing Director Dartington Tech UK and Director of Stoke-on-Trent FE College. Linda was also part of the UK Government’s rapid response team for the Further Education Funding Council, utilised to turn around failing colleges, and was part of the UK ‘think tank’ on education as a global business. Linda has presented nationally and internationally on leadership and female diversity and was identified by Management Today as one of “25 Australian women to watch”.
For me, clever goes beyond traditional “book smarts”. I’m a negotiator by training; using emotional intelligence helps me understand others’ perspectives so we can collaborate to solve problems in the collective interest.
Julie's role includes governance and risk advice, leading major cross business projects as well as supporting the development and implementation of our 2025 vision and strategic planning.
Prior to joining Think Julie worked at Swinburne University as Director New Ventures and Innovations where, in conjunction with SEEK Ltd, she established Online Education Services Pty Ltd, the Swinburne and SEEK Ltd private company, which provides Swinburne courses online. Before Swinburne Julie was Assistant Deputy Vice Chancellor (Services) at the University of Newcastle and spent a number of years as a senior public servant in New Zealand.
I'm always studying something, whether it's formal or informal. It's a big world and there's so much to learn. I enjoy how study challenges me in different ways; my work is fast paced so as a balance I've spent the last four years learning Japanese calligraphy. It forces me to slow down.
Sam brings more than 20 years' experience in higher education in the UK and Australia, including senior roles at Deakin University, Monash University, the University of South Australia and the University of Adelaide. She is a specialist in student and academic administration and student and staff services, with particular strengths in conceptualising the future needs of organisations, driving change, implementing innovative and responsive strategies. Sam leads student and academic services, including student administration, student support, academic services, campus services, student business solutions and facilities management. Sam’s role is to amplify the student voice, drive a coherent, student-facing service model that supports academic success and take the effort out of administration.
“Asking the right questions to truly understand the business enables me to best structure my team to deliver added value to the whole business.”
In his role Scott overseas the finance function. Scott’s previous roles include CFO at Next Athleisure (parent of Glue Clothing and TopShop) and CFO at Retail Adventures. Scott spent six years as Regional Financial Director at Belron Group in the UK, the world’s largest carglass replacement company, operating as O’Briens in Australia. Scott was a Director at PricewaterhouseCoopers for ten years and brings to us expertise in leading large complex transactions, including acquisitions and IPOs, developing high performance finance teams and strategic transformation of the finance function.
John has 20 years’ experience working in Telecommunications and Education sectors in Australia, United Kingdom and South America. Having started as a software developer, John took a career path through business analysis, project & program management and Senior IT Management positions. At Laureate Australia John is focused on developing technology strategies, delivering business information systems, digital products and all associated operational services and support capabilities. John is also responsible for development of major facilities strategies and programs including current and future campus delivery, with a key focus on creating modern, progressive, technology enhanced and enabled, best in class physical learning and teaching spaces.
Justin was appointed to the role of Academic Director; he is also appointed as Vice-Chancellor of Torrens University Australia. Prior to taking on this role, he completed 10 years as Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Adelaide, which required oversight of all academic, educational and research programs. Responsible for budgeting and resource management. He led the academic development of a new $200 million Medical and Nursing School in the South Australian Health and Biomedical Precinct for the last two years. He has demonstrated experience and skills in research, both clinical and policy related, workforce planning, financial and people management, philanthropic funding, leading major capital programs, leading change programs and governance. Justin is a qualified practising.
General Practitioner, board member and leader in primary care/general practice reform in Australia over the past 20 years, combined with an extensive senior management career at the University of Adelaide.
Justin is focused on driving a major growth phase that includes the development of vibrant academic communities across Business, Design, Health and Hospitality verticals, continued development and launch of new programs and national campus expansion.
Helmut has many years’ experience in the academic aspects of design, from a lecturer in 3D Design to Dean, Faculty of Design at Swinburne University of Technology. Helmut led the Faculty (previously the National School of Design) into becoming a significant international force in the field of design, including increasing onshore international student numbers eightfold as well setting up programs in Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore. Successful programs were similarly set up with Billy Blue in Sydney.
Helmut led the establishment of the National Institute for Design Research, and the development of new policies and programs for design practice-led research and re-introduced the Swinburne School of Film and Television. Most recently, Helmut was Pro Vice Chancellor Internationalisation at Swinburne, providing senior academic leadership and advocacy including curriculum developments, staff capability, graduate attributes, and the research endeavour. Previous to this role, Helmut was Pro Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive, Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak. He currently holds the position of Pro Vice Chancellor Academic at Torrens University Australia, part of Laureate International Universities.
Helmut is a leading exponent in the field of studio furniture and design for wood, having maintained a regular national and international lecture program, including forum, conference and workshop presentations. His work is in the collections of the Australian National Gallery and state collections throughout Australia. He was honoured with a survey exhibition of his life’s work 11 April – 11 June 2015 by the Art Gallery of Warrnambool.
Darryn’s career development has progressed through chartered accountancy, strategic planning, FMCG marketing, financial services marketing, loyalty, direct and digital agency leadership, and brand and retail advertising agency leadership across New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom.
His career highlights include being the creator and leader of the highly successful GlobalPlus alliance of Air New Zealand, Bank of New Zealand, and Telecom. He also conceived and led the world’s first entry by a bank into the retail telecommunications and energy markets for LloydsTSB. In 2009 when appointed as the CEO of M&C Saatchi he became the first digital leader to take over the helm of a major advertising agency in New Zealand.
She completed her undergraduate degree in Economics at The Australian National University, and is currently completing an MBA.